Ringwood Rockford Common and beyond

A short history of Ringwood

Ringwood is the Western Gateway to the beautiful New Forest National Park. For centuries it has been the traditional market town of the New Forest with its Market Charter dating back to 1226.

The Avon Valley Path links Christchurch to the south with Salisbury to the north, a distance of 34 miles. Ringwood is well placed on the pathway and ideal for an overnight stop.

The Castleman Trailway follows the route of the old railway line and provides access to the National Park to the east and can be followed for 16.5 miles to Poole in the west.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


Start at Poulner Lakes car park. Go northwards across a grassy area to a bridge. Cross the bridge then turn right, following the path to Highwood Lane.

Continue ahead on Highwood Lane, then turn left at a Footpath sign beside ‘Linbrook Thatch’. Proceed uphill and through a gate. Bear left, uphill onto Rockford Common.

Continue straight ahead, crossing a wide gravel road, to a junction of gravel tracks at a house called ‘Foxglove Corner’. Go straight ahead to the next 5-way junction and take the gravel track left.

Turn left again at a cross track and keep left, leaving the gravel, to follow the fence of Chatley Wood House for 20m. Bear left, downhill to a gate, about 500m. Go through the gate and right onto a lane.

Follow downhill for about 560m to a road. At the road, cross and go through the gate to left of Ivy Cottage, following the AVP signs. Pass the sailing club and continue on the AVP for another 400m and at the road turn right then left at a bungalow. Continue on the AVP for about 160m.

Where the AVP turns right at a telegraph pole, turn left. Follow the path beside the stream to a bridge on the right. Cross the bridge and continue ahead to the car park.